Inman Square watering hole Bukowski Tavern closed down in the middle of last year for a major revamp, including a reworked menu. Chef Brian Poe, a partner in other restaurants in the same group (Wilcox Hospitality), has recently bought into Bukowski, bringing with him a love of wild game and teaming up with proprietor Suzi Samowski to offer old classics alongside the new additions. As of today, the tavern is ready to show off its fancy new facelift and game-filled menu.
There are only a few indicators of what once was the Bukowski of yesteryear. (Miss the old ambiance? Head to the Back Bay location, which remains untouched for now.) The most obvious is the giant wall of garage door windows that still spans the length of the front wall. Dark wooden tables and chairs occupy the center of the space, while plush banquettes line the walls. The dining room seats at 84 people. The wooden floor is completely redone and gives the place a certain warmth. A large strip of mirror runs along the top of the booths, giving the restaurant a bigger feel — and a peek at what's going on in the restaurant from different vantage points. Above the mirror, chalkboards hang, listing the daily beer offerings and bringing about the biggest focal point of the space, the bar, which seats 15.
The metallic-topped bar runs about the length of one whole wall, and circular bar stools surround it. Above the seats, lightbulbs hang in a artful way, giving it a modern and unfinished look. The lights at the bar give off a light yellow-green glow. Behind the bar, beer taps stand at the ready; 36 brews are available on draft with another 100 in bottles and cans. The old "Wheel of Indecision" is now a mobile app, helping thirsty customers pick what to order.
Above the bar, a literary mural serves as a nod to Bukowski's past. Two televisions are present, one at each end. To the right of the bar, an opening in the wall gives diners a glimpse of the action that's happening in the kitchen.
Bukowski Tavern is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday (kitchen until 12:30 a.m.) and 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday (kitchen until 1:30 a.m.) A grand opening will take place later this month.